- 1 pound (500g) cherry tomatoes trimmed and cut in half
- 1 medium - about 12 ounces (360g) cucumber peeled and thinly sliced
- fine sea salt
- 2 pounds (1 kg) fava beans in their husks shucked
- One 4 ounce (120g) green italian pepper (can use cubanella) trimmed, kept whole, seeded and cut in thin rounds,
- 4 small round spring onions or 8 scallions, trimmed and cut in thin rounds
- ½ cup (3 ounces; 90g) black olives such as Niçoise, with pits
- 3 large eggs hard-cooked, peeled and cut in quarters
- 1 clove garlic, cut in half
- 12 anchovy filets or 8 ounces (250g) albacore tuna*
- 1 cup (10g) basil leaves gently packed
- About 1/4 cup (60ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Basil leaves – for garnish
Place the tomatoes and the cucumber slices in a sieve set over a large bowl. Salt them with an even shower of salt (about 1 teaspoon), shake the colander so all the vegetables are evenly salted, and reserve while you prepare the rest of the salad.
Bring a small saucepan filled with lightly salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. When the water is at a rolling boil, add the shucked fava beans, let boil for 2 minutes, then remove the fava beans from the water, leaving the hot water in the saucepan. Carefully make a slit in the outer skin of each fava bean and squeeze or take out the tender green been inside. Discard the skins. If the outer skin doesn’t easily cut and peel off, return the fava beans to the hot water for a minute or two.
Cut the anchovy fillets into large dice. If using tuna instead, crumble it into bite-sized or smaller pieces. Tear the largest basil leaves into bite-sized pieces. Reserve several sprigs of smaller leaves, for garnish. To serve the salad, rub a large salad bowl with the garlic clove. Place all the ingredients (except the tuna if using, and the eggs) in the bowl.
Pour over the olive oil and toss all the ingredients together, very gently, so they are all coated with oil. Taste for seasoning. Garnish the salad with the crumbled tuna (if using) the eggs and additional basil leaves and serve immediately.